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Launchbar Tips and Tricks [Video]

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We have covered many apps for the Mac already, like our essential list of Mac apps. One of the apps we found to be a must-have is Launchbar. We love it so much that we decided to write a whole article about it and show you, with help of a couple screencasts, why this app is essential for any Mac power user.

The basics

If you are completely new to the concept of application launchers and/or Launchbar, you want to watch the screencast below. The idea behind application launchers such as Launchbar is that you minimize the use of your mouse and instead you use your keyboard. Like we have written before, using keyboard shortcuts make you more efficient.

Some of you might wonder with Lion’s Launchpad, would you still use Launchbar? Yes, you would. Launchpad still requires for you use to your trackpad or mouse, which slows you down. With Launchbar you can launch apps a lot faster because you only need your keyboard.

Web browsing tips and tricks

The following screencast shows you how surfing the web can be a lot more convenient with Launchbar. The tips will show you how you can visit websites with only using Launchbar. It will also show you how you can use Launchbar for different search engines like Google, Wikipedia, and Amazon for faster searching.

Instant Send

This is one of my favorite features of Launchbar: Instant Send. It allows you to quickly send files to programs or have selected text ready for Launchbar manipulation. The screencast below will show you why Instant Send is so awesome. It is especially great for sending email attachments, as is demonstrated below.

Other application launchers

While Launchbar is a great app, it is not the only application launcher available on OS X. For some people, Spotlight is good enough and there is nothing wrong with that. If you want to test drive a couple other application launchers, check out the list below.

  • Alfred – A free app launcher that is very popular.
  • Quicksilver – This was one of the first application launchers for OS X.
  • Butler – Besides launching apps, Butler also has many other features.

Next Action

Grab a copy of Launchbar (or any other application launcher) and become a keyboard rockstar.

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14 Comments

Posted by Mihai  | May 4, 2018 at 7:37PM | Reply

Hi!

The little tools is astonishing!
I would need it to do one more thing, hopefully you can help.

Google had the “I’m feeling lucky” option and DuckDuckGo has the same option with !ducky in the search bar. How could I search DuckDuckGo with !ducky option (so that it opens the first link) instead of seeing the entire results page?

Posted by Gillian  | November 17, 2013 at 1:57PM | Reply

Hi Tanh, great article. I’m a big fan of Asian Eficiency :)
Do you know if there is a similar feature to instant send in Alfred?

Thanks, and keep up the good work.

Posted by Thanh Pham  | November 17, 2013 at 2:14PM

I don’t know since I’ve never used Alfred.

Posted by Mauricio  | September 7, 2011 at 8:49PM | Reply

Launch Bar is indeed very amazing and very useful. I personally use Quicksilver along cause I like the display on that one better. But if you want something that can manipulate and open almost everything LaunchBar is definitely the way to to and you can purchase it now on a Bundle along with other great apps for real cheap at http://bit.ly/n6JPni…You may also find a complete review on it at http://blog.mauricioquito.comEnjoy

Posted by Toby Z  | September 7, 2011 at 5:48AM | Reply

Thanks for the great tutorial. Wondering if you know how to use LaunchBar to send an OmniFocus Action DIRECTLY to the OF inbox (without LaunchBar opening the Quick Entry dialog). Things does this. It would be great to be able to just quickly use LaunchBar entry and format it as one format’s an email that goes to the OF inbox…

 
example:
(Action >Project @Mac #tomorrow //these are notes) hit enter…boom it’s right where it needs to be in OF…all in a flurry of keyboard strokes.Also, in using LaunchBar to enter OF Quick Entry stuff, How do you get the text you type in LaunchBar’s own Quick Entry (Invoke OF via LaunchBar, then Shift-Space for entry field) to be the name of the Action in OF? After I type my Action into the LaunchBar entry field, when I press Enter (and Quick Entry opens) The name of my resulting Action is actually “From LaunchBar”, with my desired Action text in the notes section instead.Thanks!TZ

Posted by Thanh Pham  | September 7, 2011 at 10:34AM

Hey Toby,

I have wondered this myself too, but I haven’t looked into it yet. For now, the quick entry box works pretty good for me. If you have find a script that does this I’d be interested to see and test it.

Posted by Toby  | September 8, 2011 at 3:58AM

I’m searchin’…I’ll let you know if I find something that works. Thanks for the quick reply, Thanh…Toby

Posted by Matt  | May 2, 2012 at 7:52AM

Yes

In omnifocus preferences set clippings to go directly to inbox (under the clippings tab).

Then in launchbar search for and use the “Omnifocus: Send to inbox” service (by pressing Spacebar not Enter) and put in the title of the action you want to create (Details about the currently active application will fill out the body of the action).

Or you can use instant send for highlighted text from another application, press tab and then search for the Omnifocus service.

Posted by Thanh Pham  | May 3, 2012 at 2:04AM

Nice one Matt! I just tried this and it seems to work very well with a few apps. With some apps it won’t populate the title of the task entry. If it did that across all apps this would be really awesome.

Posted by frEdSCAPEs 3.0 / Alles over Launchbar  | August 18, 2011 at 1:10AM | Reply

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Posted by Stephan Holzgruber  | August 13, 2011 at 10:52AM | Reply

I like the desktop background in the screencasts; can you provide the source, please?

Posted by AE Thanh  | August 13, 2011 at 2:25PM

Hey Stephan it’s actually a wallpaper that comes with Snow Leopard. When you change the background, go to the “black and white” wallpapers that comes with Snow Leopard and it’s there. I could only find a cropped version here for you:
http://mayfieldmayhem.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/picture-16.png

Posted by Bojan Djordjevic  | August 12, 2011 at 5:58PM | Reply

I can’t justify the cost, but I believe it’s great!

Posted by Launchbar Tips and Tricks  | August 12, 2011 at 9:49AM | Reply

[…] 12 Aug 2011 Launchbar Tips and Tricks […]

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